It Ain’t a Podcast Without an XML Feed

I’m going to put something out there that many have said. I’m going to say it without ire or without any sort of pedantic motivation, merely the pragmatic. If you say you have a podcast, you need to have an XML feed with enclosures to your show otherwise it is not a podcast! This issue is important to me and not because I’m a purist. When I run across interesting podcasts, I submit them to AmigoFish. I want to make sure as many interesting shows are represented there as possible. I cannot submit the show when there is no XML feed. Sorry folks, that’s just the nature of the beast. Some people represent this outlook because of the theoretical definitions but for me it is an issue of pragmatism. I need the feed to make my directory work. If you don’t have one, you really don’t have a podcast.

In a related issue, a way to really make me mad is to have a podcast that is in the iTunes directory but with no obvious link to a standard XML enclosure feed. That really pisses me off. The iTunes directory works by reading the XML feed, so it must exist for any show that is listed in there. When there is no link or reference to that standard feed, it forces me to fire up iTunes, subscribe to the podcast myself and then do the info on that feed in order to see the link. Because you can’t paste out of that box, I have to retype the damn thing myself into my browser line or into the AmigoFish text field. This just plain makes me angry. Do everyone a favor, folks, and don’t just put the iTunes link on your web page. Put the danged XML feed up there too and make me happy.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

3 thoughts on “It Ain’t a Podcast Without an XML Feed”

  1. Dave, that is so true. How CAN it be a podcast without the RSS distribution? If there’s an MP3 on the web that’s what it is: an MP3 on a website somewhere!

    I refuse to subscribe to any podcasts via iTunes – and if there’s no pukka RSS feed on the related web site (and yes, I search for their homepages)then no subscription.

    I banged on about this in a couple of editorials I did in Podcast User Magazine ( to a deafening silence. I guess the world wasn’t ready for a heresy back then. iTunes was GOD and there was nothing wrong with it.

    The trouble is iTunes both helped and hindered podcasting. Apple really needs to sort out the podcasting facilities in iTunes. Cos they suck.

    Enough rantings from me. Peace.

  2. julien says:

    dude, i have this one videoblog, and it totally doesn’t have enclosures. it pisses me off so much– so much of the functionality of its so-called ‘podcast’ is taken away!

  3. Derek Coward says:

    I actually do a short show just for the visitors of my website, who I assume are already listening to the podcast. I go out of my way to ensure that everyone knows that it is NOT a podcast.

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